Tuesday

25th Jun 2019

Europe bans Bisphenol-A chemical in baby bottles

  • There are fears the compound could affect development and immune response in young children (Photo: wikipedia)

A European ban on baby bottles containing the chemical Bisphenol-A (BPA) will be imposed next year over fears the substance could affect development and immune response in young children.

Experts from EU member states approved the European Commission proposal on Thursday (25 November), several months earlier than expected.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

"The decision taken today is good news for European parents who can be sure that, as of mid-2011, plastic infant feeding bottles will not include BPA," said the EU's health and consumer affairs commissioner, John Dalli.

The chemical - widely used to make hard, clear plastic and frequently found in food and drink containers - has raised concerns for some time, prompting unilateral bans in Canada, France, Denmark and several US states.

In October, Canada became the first country in the world to classify Bisphenol-A as a toxic substance, despite heavy lobbying from the chemical industry against the measure.

The decision by EU member-state experts means the manufacture of feeding bottles containing the compound will now be banned in Europe from March 2011, with their import and sale to be banned from June 2011.

"There were areas of uncertainty, deriving from new studies, which showed that BPA might have an effect on development, immune response and tumour promotion," Mr Dalli said in a statement.

The National Childbirth Trust has campaigned for the ban in Britain.

"When you put liquids into a bottle - particularly hot liquids or liquids containing fatty liquids - it leaches out of the plastic," the group's chief executive Belinda Phipps told the BBC.

"It's a chemical that mimics estrogens, but not in a good way," she added. "It interferes with estrogens getting into the receptors, and it can have some very unpleasant effects - and animal studies have shown significant effects."

European Parliament approval is not required for the new restrictions to go ahead, with MEPs in any case calling for such a ban in June.

Focus

How France escaped EU legal action over chemical ban

A previously-unseen internal paper by the European Commission warned that a French ban of the bisphenol A chemical was "fully disproportionate". However, there was no consensus on starting an infringement procedure against France.

EU parliament gives extra time for leaders on top jobs

The EU parliament might allow an extra 24 hours for EU heads of government to first come up with the new EU leadership names. Meanwhile, EPP lead candidate Manfred Weber is meeting Angela Merkel and AKK in Berlin for backing.

Opinion

EU-Vietnam trade deal a bad day for workers' rights

Behind the smiles and handshakes, the signature of the EU-Vietnam trade and investment deals agreed on Tuesday and to be signed this week have dire consequences for human well-being and our ability to prevent climate and ecological breakdown.

News in Brief

  1. EU to sign free trade deal with Vietnam
  2. EU funding of air traffic control 'largely unnecessary'
  3. Share trading ban looms as Swiss row with EU escalates
  4. Cooperation needed on Brexit, says Johnson
  5. Europe hit by record breaking June heat wave
  6. Liberal split complicates talks on new Spanish government
  7. Italy unravels massive European VAT carousel fraud
  8. Venezuelans cause spike in EU asylum bids

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNo evidence that social media are harmful to young people
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersCanada to host the joint Nordic cultural initiative 2021
  3. Vote for the EU Sutainable Energy AwardsCast your vote for your favourite EUSEW Award finalist. You choose the winner of 2019 Citizen’s Award.
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersEducation gets refugees into work
  5. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  6. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  7. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  8. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  9. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersLeading Nordic candidates go head-to-head in EU election debate
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Secretary General: Nordic co-operation must benefit everybody

Latest News

  1. EU parliament gives extra time for leaders on top jobs
  2. Europe's rights watchdog lifts Russia sanctions
  3. EU-Vietnam trade deal a bad day for workers' rights
  4. EU 'special envoy' going to US plan for Palestine
  5. Polish judicial reforms broke EU law, court says
  6. EU study: no evidence of 'East vs West' food discrimination
  7. Russia tried to stir up Irish troubles, US think tank says
  8. Babis unmoved by protests over EU scam allegations

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us